“Jazz” the Way it Should Be

“You need to go here!”

This advice popped up on my Facebook page, telling me to catch a show at Jazz at the Bistro.

My best friend made the suggestion after I sheepishly admitted that I was still searching out ways to explore St. Louis’ nightlife. As a newly-minted resident, I have no preconceived notions. However, I am a bit of a music snob. I know what I like.

There’s a lot to like in this eclectic listening room.

The Bistro is located downtown, at 3536 Washington Avenue. I found street parking easily, just a few blocks away. I took it as a good omen. The crowd was completely eclectic-college students mingled easily with Valentine’s Day couples. Every age and ethnicity was represented in the long, long line to pick up tickets at will-call. The firmly polite door person kept her cool, though she acknowledged that she was “working tonight.” We shared a grin and I was led to my table.

After being seated, I perused the menu. There was a nice selection of small plates and appetizers, as well as full entrees and desserts. I opted for the fresh asparagus and the polenta fries with a mushroom gravy. Paired with a tasty beverage, my light dinner hit the spot. I savored everything and waited for my table mates.

The Bistro seats patrons “family style,” which means unless you buy a table, you’ll be seated with other guests. I got to chat with a lovely trio that including an engaged couple and a friend celebrating her birthday. We instantly started talking about all types of music, and shared our excitement about the main event.

The crowd was exceptionally well-behaved. There was very little chatter during the show; you could almost feel the ears tuning to catch the rise and fall of every number. Even though I was seated at the back of the main floor, I didn’t feel as if I missed a note. The sound levels were perfect, creating a focused, intimate mood. The wait-staff were attentive, but didn’t hover.

All in all, it was a lovely evening. It’s a great place to go with friends, or to make new ones. The smoke-free atmosphere was much appreciated. Next time, I’ll buy tickets early to ensure closer seating. I’ll also be sure to take a tour of the upper level, which didn’t happen this trip.

When my best friend comes to visit, I’ll be sure to take her to my new favorite jazz spot.

To buy your tickets, or for more information, visit their website.

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